Tag Archives: Relationships

“The Café Stool”

“The Café Stool”

The café stool at the corner bus stop spins
Lukewarm as his miles concentrate on the coffee. The counter reeks
Of vinegar and last night’s cream and stranded weeks
In tufts of cusps and smoke and maybes render standard wins

As dust bunnies in an otherwise long night’s wait. The daily turn
Puts miles on both the urn and that old stool.
He’s going nowhere fast but yes, he knows the rules.
He’s been to school. He’s got a lot to say, and bile to burn

Before he bags the keys, and hits the road
For all it’s worth out there; and tell me, now, what’s

It worth? Another dime, another cup of time forever cuts
A path between the long and short, and both are simple codes

For what he means to say, “I’m here and going nowhere,
Fast, but, if you’ve found the exit, let me know, and I’ll be there.

Oh, well, and since you asked me, yes! The twisted lips,
Emaciated torso, darkest circles,
Smudges, really, orbs―a pair―and matching icicles
For breasts suggesting that they’re beyond suggesting; tips

Of fingers, possibly, or weaknesses supporting barbed wire frames,
And all this while naked, reading The New Yorker; raked, reclining, draped
Across a thing or two. A second piercing, pain, or whatever can be scraped
Together to perform the task achieves its consummate utilitarian fame

Expressed in motifs on the menu or à la mode made decorative and dative
In function, deliberately neutered as are the midnight waffles.
Yes! There’s so much that can be found in any diner or rendered awful
In some missing space or blank provided―the passive or the active

Voice required―sired, producing tired generations of sensations
To the point that what’s come in on the bus becomes the stuff of veneration.

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“You Own the Year”

“You Own the Year”

You own the year and years before you
As I the year and all that’s passed;
Your signs are rising; eternity is steadfast.
Quo vadis, then? I who serve eternities am overruled
By sheer numbers, countless previous dispensations viewed
In retrospect and circumspect as vast
And spacious notions of impermanence and impasse.
I see before the fact in part— imperfectly at present—pursued
By spoils of  wars and rumours coupled with a dubious acquired taste
For bitters, acerbic memory gained close at hand or lost at sea.
Nothing in this world is or is so stable
That it is not utterly dependent, created, removed and recreated on the table
Of bounties throughout creation; what God has willed to use or waste
Shall be not be more or less than what it is, and what is not shall never be.*

***

* “Protect me, O my Lord, from every evil that Thine omniscience perceiveth, inasmuch as there is no power nor strength but in Thee, no triumph is forthcoming save from Thy presence, and it is Thine alone to command. Whatever God hath willed hath been, and that which He hath not willed shall not be.

There is no power nor strength except in God, the Most Exalted, the Most Mighty.”

–His HolinessThe Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Báb, pp. 190-191

“Spell It for Me”

“Spell It for Me”


Spell it for me then, put it to the page;
Write it deftly in the margins if it satisfies,
Constricts, confines, and somehow justifies
The ciphers. Calligraphy implies a beauty caged,
A likeness petrified in seraphs, sighs beached in shadows, letters
Equal in significance to the words they form.
The lady doesn’t hesitate; both the single bee and all her swarm
Are natural metaphors in ancient scripts, instincts left unfettered
By the need to suppress or press a thought or bind
Its witnesses further than to cut a simple precedent,
The humble suggestion of a rhyme, a harbinger of content,
Coded, possibly imploded, sealed in what the mind defines
As patterned premises that merely tempt conclusions to evolve.
Haste? No time to waste before the riddle’s solved.

“Leviathans”

Humpback-Whales-Feeding-I-002

“Leviathans”

Leviathans suffer willingly the wastes of lessers with the spoils
Of forage in awe of their minions’ rout. Leavings
Of forests—minutia in the seas—objects in multitudes of breeding
In billions lay as quarry; breathing only halts the intake, precious oils
And storage founts in awful majesties as but bubbles will numb the foils
Of the deep with little thought of being prey; no other path is possible as to seek
Escape evaporates in the stupor of the stampede and mindless feed,
Ephemeral images of affrighted numbers and omnipresence. The serpent coils,
As consternation’s measured to the length of ineffectual peers
And in the chaos and confusion, venom—the elixir of a momentary sun—
And mere instinct lights the way for both hunter and hunted, in tandem
For the hunted, “In sæcula sæculorum,” say the hunters
In deft detection; great ones of the kelp and boiling seas remain true,
The enemy of few, so much the reward, relentless, so limitless the purview.

humback_whales_hunting

“You’re Beautiful, You Know”

“You’re Beautiful, You Know”

You’re beautiful, you know. I wish we’d known
Each other close to forty years and had nothing left to choose;
Perhaps, we’d loved and lost, the ring’d been tossed, and felt its sting in hues
Of optimism and betrayal, close reunion, loose communion, blown
The whole on both sides twice or thrice by now
And somehow landed in the same lane, the same
Neighbourhood, perhaps slid down the same incline
Or close behind; the same old bus route, timed
And never off, a good fifteen straight, if lame
Or limpid minutes, from door to door. And, on some rare
Spring adagio, that night’s soft jazz nondescript demoted to the rank of others
In the cast, the added stroke,  aromas of your cooking, not a hint of `druthers,
And none of this in my head. Yes, I might be a moment late because I’d care
Enough to stop somewhere to buy a rose or possibly a dozen just for you,
And there at last at half past five, amazing grace and dinner set for two.

“Just Leave It Here”

bath

“Just Leave It Here”

Just leave it here, or put it over there,
I’ll rip into it sometime when you’re not
Around; perhaps a little later when I’ve caught
Some rest, or just a nap, or seek the tender care
Of the refrigerator―or, maybe just a bath,
Of course! A bath―tonight, no standing shower: bubbles!
Yes! And contemplations of the past while I forget my troubles,
And the neighbours’ radio loud enough to raise the wrath
Of God from migrant angered angels, curses that I’ve never heard
Before, or maybe have, but never memorized. It’s time for Mahler’s Third,
And while I’m predisposed to being altogether unperturbed
It wouldn’t do to push the envelope too far…. Yes, feed the bird,
Walk the dog, and later on, when evening’s gone
I’ll gladly open what you brought me, while I wonder what went wrong.

…painting by Dick Detzner…

“What Is Even More Sinister”

stare

“What Is Even More Sinister”

What is even more sinister
is a certainty, a pensive sense of foreboding
in dealings with the others
in person,

point blank, face to face;
shades who address
everything and everyone in two dimensions
as if they never leave their living rooms reviewing
what they think they see

on one of several pods or receivers
with or without screens,
with or without speakers,
with or without this firewall or that font

and that I can be deleted
as easily as noticed
in an instant, not even a moment’s hesitation.
Default comes to mind where love should be.

If not or should I insist on being addressed, despised,
I am entertained as a possible virus
or some kind of Trojan that needs watching
if only for that reason and no other.

“She’s the Cello”

A cello

“She’s the Cello”

She’s the cello in his night that marks the path
With leaves and herbs as punctuation marks
To separate reality from the general twist of simple arts
Within the episode from drinks at intermission Do the math
And wonder at the not-so-subtle quest of youth for rich
And varied situations.  On the face of it, slightly crossed,
Declined, and conjugated, interests tossed
From the stove to the table as his pebbles lightly pitched
Must dance across but shallow streams and brooks,
From here to there in yards or feet apart,
A feat that grants the pitcher lighter goals, an arc
For future muses. wonder-lust, misplaced in space and all those books.

“Take Care”

sand

“Take Care”

Take care, my friend, I’ll be gone when all
Is said and done and you’ve exhausted myriads in travelled
Roads and paths, chimaeras that solace compromise and cavil
At direction to overload the slightest wish to pray. The call
Of newborn yesterdays is rife in youthful sirens
As orisons in skies above your auguries where eagles simply scream.
Purpose breeds sedition, yes! yellowing, a tax upon all leaves;
Salacious fruits produce addictions turning virtues into vices.
Shall I remain transfixed while you decide which road is best?
Simple neighbours here will waste my heart to roll the dice
And serve the tea but once in modesty while you have tasted thrice
Forbidden fruit with no refund, no return surviving tests
of all in wit, concentric verbal feasts, and bruise your soul
on all twelve stations of the zodiac to boot, an endless unrecorded smile
seducing what is left of memory of yet another mile.

…photography by Colin Bury…

Placated in the Midnight

Rainbow road

“Placated in the Midnight”

Placated in the midnight for a time, softly moving, flowing purples
Prove longing in a hurried bower. Sentiments, interpreted
In their yearning by a greater sight, a gilded purity, requests to know
A deeper joy in stations far above their own. These! the strident yellows,
Richest apricots, stealth in forest greens, and in their mirrors’ prism others
In a rainbow’s richest hues. Truculence and degradation spawn another
Third, a half note difference that in the hour makes no sense. These! their fellow
Travellers pause but moments in this place and for all intents
And purposes yield to what they think has come pass. Conclusions
Mount in efforts to remember who it was could do this to whom. Confusion
Circumvents the purpose of reunion when their synergies, delayed, are bent
Distorting content, vanities and what they both have willed:
Blindness in the heart and mind while all precocious certitude is stilled.